This is a pretty huge life step, isn’t it? When you run through the classic structure of a human life, marriage is one of those major stops. Even if every other aspect of you life isn’t so typical, marriage is one that seems to pop up in most.
It is. I don’t know. I did always want this. I always thought about falling in love and getting married. There isn’t much else I’m sure of. My job, money, kids, I don’t know. I may not get many of those other things. I probably won’t go back to school, so I’ll never have a graduation. I may never have a proper career. Hopefully I’ll buy a house some day, but that’s not entirely clear at the moment. So this one is pretty massive. I want to savor every moment of it. Really appreciate what I have. I don’t care about traditions, but I’m really excited about all of this.
I suppose that’s how we should treat all of them. We never know how many other milestones we’ll hit, or get a chance to hit.
Most days have miniature equivalents. There is something special about things like this, though. Engagements. Marriage. Children. A house. They are synonymous with larger goals. Contentedness. Happiness. Security. The excitement in the typical seem to fall away as we get older and more cynical.
A dinner with friends is nice, but doesn’t offer that sense of continued safety.
It doesn’t feel like you’re moving forward. Becoming an adult or whatever you want to call it. Maybe not feeling as scared as we were that we’d end up homeless and alone. Marriage is putting that fear to bed for good… hopefully. One less thing to be uncertain about.
Yeah. We get tired of growing and changing. I can barely imagine being a teenager again and everything that comes with it is charged with manic energy. It’s exciting but it’s a recipe for mental illness. It’s so unstable. I imagine my thirties and it’s plodding along, somewhere in the middle of the road. Then we get a random kick like you are now.
Then why don’t you want to get married?
We don’t feel the need. I don’t want to go on about my views of marriage when you are about to get engaged.
She hasn’t said yes, yet.
But she will. And it’s awesome.
I get the difference between your opinions and mine. Your decisions won’t diminish how I feel about mine.
And how I feel about yours, as well. I couldn’t be happier for you.
Alright, so there are no worries about that. Why don’t you want to get married?
I agree with you about everything. Those steps feel like growing up, but I don’t think they are necessary. I think they are more representative, metaphorical. They are easier to track. Graduation feels important but it was the hours upon hours of work that led to it that holds the real meaning. Marriage is the same way. It’s a demarcation, but the work that goes into the relationship every day is what makes it worthwhile. What gives it meaning, for me. The marriage is yelling to everyone else and I’m pretty quiet. You will love your soon to be fiance whether she has a ring or not. Symbols serve a purpose, though. It represents commitment to some people.
So you can get out if you want.
It’s not an exit strategy thing. But if I did want to get out, I wouldn’t want to the difficulty of going through the steps of a divorce to be the reason I stay. I never get why people saw that part as romantic.
Marriage is saying, “This is how I will feel for the rest of my, or your, life.” I can’t say that about anything with any certainty, so I won’t pretend.
But I think I will feel this way about her for the rest of my life.
I believe you. Which is why I’m so excited about your marriage. I can assure you I haven’t been this happy when other people told me about their proposals.
Why do you believe me when you don’t believe in that certainty in yourself?
I believe what you say you feel. I can’t say it myself, so I can’t believe it. But I trust you. You’re my best friend for a reason.
Because I remind you so much of yourself.
Pretty much. But with more hope.
You pretend to be cynical, but you’re all love inside.
I hide my fears in feigned realism.
And sarcasm. You’d never get married?
I don’t feel the need. But maybe someday a woman I love and I will want to throw a big party.